We reached Alibaug towards late in the evening. On the way I called up the place where I had stayed earlier; but he was already having guests so, he suggested me to stay at Shree Holiday Resort owned by Mr Kaustubh Raut. We went there, Mr Raut is really a nice and humble person. He started this business of Homestays just last year. He has only 2 rooms for guests but lot of open space with garden. The garden does not mean the one with lawns ( I find it too artificial and too much in order to be called natural). So the garden here means plantations; and across coast of Konkan gardens are only plantations)
Over the next few days we wanted to see all the interesting places around Alibaug. We also wanted to compare which beach is the best.
Accordingly we visited all the beaches on Rewas - Mandva - Alibaug road. We also met quite a few number of people and following is the essence of our findings.
In addition there are two more places that one must see..
1) Kunakeshwar Temple : Going to this temple can be a nice trek. However it would take more than 1.30 hrs so avoid afternoon climb.
2) Karmarkar Shilpalay : This is known to very few .. but in my opinion this place is a must visit. You get to see master pieces pf sculpturing.
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There is also the fort of Alibaug but it is closer to Alibaug town and not to this road.
There are also two forts namely Khanderi and Undheri in the sea; you can tie up with fishermen to go there. These are among the first 2 forts; in the chain of 65 small and big forts from North to Suoth; that Chhatrapati Shivaji built to protect coast of Maratha Empire.
The interesting aspect of tourism about this place is that it is controlled neither by service nor by location. It is controlled by mode of transport and proximity. Till Catamaran service was not existing; bus and car were the popular modes of transport. From the road to alibaug, Mandva road is quite far and as such buses do not come here, they rather go to Alibaug town. As such Nagaon beach(which is on Alibaug - Revdanda road) was more popular.
The other reason sited by them for avoiding tie-up was that they would have less profit margin. Anyways in my first two days of Konkan visit, I realized four key aspects of homestay owners:1. They believe volume can not increase so there is no point in losing margins. In other words, Cost orientation is much higher than Revenue Orientation.
2. People with exposure to tourism or apparently educated people; also are not confident of bringing in premium customers to their homestays. All of them are competing for the same set of middle/ upper middle class customers.3. From the people I met, I found out that people who can speak English(it is not a measure of education always; as there are many people educated in Marathi here); believe in questioning rather than listening to you. They are also the most suspicious kind of lot (while I write this in English; I am suspecting that you would bunch me along with them).
4. People are divided on the basis of need. Established people do not need marketing efforts where as new comers do need it. Unfortunately associations or social bodies are presided over established people so the associations do not try or rather discourage marketing tie-ups. This leads to, not so established people feeling that, established ones do not want them to come up. Funnily later in my journey also wherever I met associations I could not do business. Thus progress is an individualistic or at best family phenomenon; associations have not much contributed to it.
Murud is approximately 1.30 hrs drive from Alibaug.We started late in the evening and reached Murud at around 8.00 p.m.
- Do not forget to carry Mosquito Repellent.
- Do not venture in deep sea, the coast here is rocky and you can suffer injury.
- In case you wish to see clean waters; you need to move ahead to Kashid at least.
- Do not create noise; homestay owners' are hassled with behaviour of tourists. As most of the people only consume booze during the visit and create raucous. These are homes and they do suffer from indecent behaviour
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